Gluten-free

Zucchini Gingerbread Muffins!! Gluten-free!

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Since it is harvest time and zucchini is a bumper crop this year, I thought I would share a recipe to use up all those lovely green zucchini.

Image courtesy of www.kamloopsparents.com
Image courtesy of www.kamloopsparents.com

Zucchini Gingerbread Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour (or all-purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsps ground ginger
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

2/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of shredded zucchini
zest and juice of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups.  Mix all dry ingredients together well.  Mix all wet ingredients together well.  Combine the two together and mix until just combined. Fill muffin cups.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool and enjoy.  I hope you like this tasty use of fresh zucchini.  Cheers, Michele

Aloo Gobi!! Cauliflower And Potato Curry!

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I have been craving Aloo Gobi which is a simple vegetable curry for a while now and so I finally bit the bullet and made some.  It is so yummy and comforting.  I got new potatoes and a cauliflower on the discount table at my local fruit and veg store so this is a very cheap meal.  You can add meat or chickpeas to the recipe to make it a whole meal, but we are having it with tandoori spice rubbed chicken breasts off the BBQ!  Yummy.  Serve it with rice and naan bread if you have it and you have a super simple supper.  Hope you try it.

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Aloo Gobi

1 small head of cauliflower cut into small flowerettes

2 pounds of potatoes cut into bite size pieces

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated and finely chopped

1 tbsps of vegetable oil

2 onions cut into small pieces

3 large cloves of garlic finely minced

2 inch piece of ginger finely minced

3 small hot chilis finely minced

2 tsps of tumeric

2 tsps of cumin

2 tsps ground coriander seed

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 large 16 oz tin of crushed tomatoes

2-3 cups of water, vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups frozen peas

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Then add chilis, garlic, ginger and the finely minced stems of the cilantro.  Stir til slightly cooked.  Add potatoes and cauliflower, spices and salt and stir well to coat the vegetables.  Add can of tomatoes.  Then cover the vegetables with as much stock or water as it takes to just cover.  Simmer over medium  to low heat for 30 minutes. Check the potatoes and cauliflower and add the frozen peas.  Cook for another 30 minutes until liquid reduces.  This may take longer depending on the size of your pot.  Once ready sprinkle with the chopped cilantro leaves and serve with steamed rice.  Perfect delicious and easy vegetarian meal or side dish. But like I said, you can add chicken or chickpeas to add some protein.  Hope you try it.  Cheers, Michele

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The Savoy Brasserie Ottawa!! Restaurant Review!

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For my birthday on Saturday we went to the Savoy Brasserie here in Ottawa to celebrate.  I love this restaurant very much, the food is always stellar, the service is very good and I love the atmosphere.  So I thought I would review our latest visit to this wonderful place.

My husband Will, our daughter Katie and her boyfriend Chris went with me to celebrate and so the company was terrific to begin with.We were seated by the window so we could do some people watching, which reminds me of our time in Europe and how much fun people watching is while enjoying delicious food.  We enjoyed some delicious cocktails while we waited for our food.

I had already checked out the menu on-line to figure out my main dish, but I already had a good idea what I wanted because the type of dish I wanted is one of my favourite ways to eat.

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We ordered 40 raw oysters and 20 large prawns to share for starters.  Will ordered the moules and frites (mussels with French fries and garlic aioli) in a beer, blue cheese and lardons sauce.  He was very nice and shared with me.  Katie ordered the vegetable tartar and a risotto.  Chris ordered the deconstructed grilled Caesar salad.

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I got a chaucutarie which had smoked duck, house made pate and foie gras.  It was so amazingly yummy.  After all that terrific food we were too full for dessert, but I can tell you from previous experience that the desserts are decadent and delicious.

We all enjoyed our dinner very much, the service was excellent and the atmosphere was delightful, not too noisy that you couldn’t have a great conversation over food.  It is an expensive restaurant, but you certainly get what you pay for, the quality of the food is very good as is the service.  Certainly a special occasion type of place.  But if you go during Westboro (the name of the neighbourhood that the Savoy is in) hour, oysters and prawns are only $1 each from 3:30 til closing every day.  So if you are into oysters and prawns and other appetizers, with a beer included, it is a reasonable and delicious meal option.

If you live in the Ottawa area, I definitely recommend that you try this restaurant out.  I give it 5 stars!!  Cheers, Michele

Gluten-free Dessert Crepes Multiple Ways!!

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I found this recipe on www.Food.com and have made it several times with amazing results.  I have included three recipes for fillings plus some other options. If you want to use these crepes for a savoury recipe, omit the sugar and cook as usual before filling.

Image courtesy of www.ashlandfoods.com
Image courtesy of www.ashlandfoods.com

Gluten-Free Dessert Crepes

1 cup rice flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all ingredients together well until smooth.  In a lightly greased crepe pan over medium high heat, pour 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to cover bottom of pan evenly.  Cook until lightly browned on bottom, flip and cook 30-45 seconds more. Remove from pan and stack on a plate.  Cook all batter in the same way.

Bananas Foster Filling

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 bananas sliced

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp dark rum

In a non stick fry pan melt butter, add sugar and cook until sugar dissolves.  Add all other ingredients and cook until bananas are slightly soft.  Fill crepes with batter and serve.

Caramel Apple Filling

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

4 apples peeled, cored and sliced thin

In a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar and cook until bubbling.  Add all other ingredients and cook until apples softened and sauce has thickened.  Fill crepes with filling and serve.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 Tbsp cream

pinch of salt

1/2 cup peanut butter

In a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water, melt chocolate chips with cream and salt.  Once melted, allow to cool slightly until just warm to the touch.  Equally divide peanut butter and chocolate spread over the crepes and serve.

I hope you enjoy these three options of fillings for these delicious crepes.  You can also fill them with yogurt or whipped cream and fresh fruit.  Cheers, Michele

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies!! Gluten-Free!

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I found this recipe off Pinterest for Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies and tweaked the recipe a bit as I always do.  The inspiration comes from www.mikeysinmykitchen.com and her recipe for the Ultimate Chewy Coconut Cookie.  I made these this morning for my lovely co-workers at the hospital where I worked the evening shift and they were a real hit. By changing the flour to gluten-free and adding the chocolate chips I think they are a real crowd or family pleaser. You  should try this recipe out, you will be delighted with the results!

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Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup room temperature butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup gluten-free flour (or regular flour)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugars until well mixed, add egg and vanilla.
In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and mix until all incorporated.  Add coconut and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
On parchment paper or Silpat pad lined baking sheets place small walnut sized balls about 4 inches apart as these cookies really spread.  Place in oven and bake until edges just begin to brown.  Remove from oven and remove allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove them from paper or Silpat pad and place on cooling racks to continue cooling.  If you allow them to brown more; they will be very crispy; less and they will be more chewy.  Store in a closed container.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Potato Salad Nicoise!! Delicious!

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I made this salad recipe to serve with our home made ribs fresh out of my husband’s new smoker.  The ribs were excellent and this recipe was voted a clear winner.  So I thought I would share it.

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Potato Salad Nicoise

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

3 pounds of new potatoes cut into bite size pieces if too large

1/2 small red onion diced small, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup of pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed, drained and chopped small

2 Tbsp drained and rinsed capers chopped small

6 hard-boiled eggs peeled and sliced

Dressing

2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of a lemon

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

dash of Worsteshire sauce

Mix all dressing ingredients well and set aside.  In a large pot, bring salted water to the boil, place green beans in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove the beans and place in a bowl of ice water.  Place potatoes in boiling water and cook for 15 minutes til tender when pierced with a knife.  Drain potatoes and place in a bowl.  Cover the hot potatoes with the dressing.  Add the olives, capers and onions.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Drain the green beans and add them to the potatoes and dressing and mix well.  Top with the sliced eggs.  Serve.  If you are not serving the salad right away, place in the fridge to keep cool.

I hope you enjoy this salad.  Cheers, Michele

Hungarian Cucumber Salad!!

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Since my cucumber patch in my garden is producing a bumper crop I though I would share one of our favourite ways to prepare them. This recipe is a family favourite and is inspired by my Uncle Matthew’s recipe and is very easy to make.  It takes a little time for the cucumbers to release their water and for the dressing to soak into the cucumbers.

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Hungarian Cucumber Salad

3 large English or Lebanese cucumbers sliced very thin

1/4 cup of salt

3 cloves of garlic minced fine

1 cup of sour cream

3 Tbsps of white vinegar

1/4 cup of minced fresh dill

1/4 cup of finely minced chives

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika

Place the sliced of cucumber in layers with the salt in a colander over a bowl.  Place a plate on top and press down with a heavy weight.  Leave for one hour to let the cucumbers release their water.  Mix all the rest of the ingredients except the paprika together.  Rinse the cucumbers several times and then place in the centre of a clean dry tea towel.  Twist the tea towel with the cucumbers inside to press out the water.  Once you have extracted as much water as possible, place the cucumbers in the bowl and mix well with the dressing.  Sprinkle the paprika over the top and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for an hour to let the flavours meld.  I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe.  Cheers, Michele